Friday, February 29, 2008

Thank you, Lost, once again

GREAT episode of Lost last night- we just watched it online. Soooo good. Do I have to wait until next week for more? No! I can do silly things on the website like find out what nickname Sawyer would give me- (Avalanche) and Lincoln- (Skeeter).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The moments that make it all worth it..

So last night was a rough night with Jesse. I think his issue was gas. I was up for a couple hours with him while he mostly screamed and thrashed. So today I'm a bit tired. While Jesse was napping this afternoon and Renie and Devon were watching quality programming on TV, I curled up in my bed to rest. Devon immediately came in and jumped on me and snuggled with me. I tried to convince him it would be fun to take a nap. So he said he'd tell me a bedtime story. He told me a cute little story about going to the beach and then said it was my turn to tell HIM a bedtime story. Being tired and completely devoid of any energy I wasn't too keen on this. However, he was cute and I didn't want to let the moment slip away. So I told him a story about a boy named D............avid who liked to play in the mud. It was not bad, as far as making it up as you go goes, and ultimately the boy takes off all his clothes to squish in the mud and gets mud everywhere, including his butt-crack, and then has a bath and realizes how fun getting clean can be too. Not exactly Dr. Seuss, but whatever. But here's where it's all worth it. After I said, "The end." He gave me a big hug and kiss and said, "Yes! That's my favorite story! Thanks!" So glad I didn't miss that opportunity.

March is on the horizon..

Tomorrow is the last day of February. I think I'm going to make it! I know, I know. Winter doesn't really end here until mid-April. But in March we'll start getting 40 degree days from time to time, snow will start melting, water will start running in the streets and the sun will continue to gain strength. It's the beginning of the end. I went out yesterday and chipped ice out of our driveway. It was a great workout. It was sunny and about 30 degrees yesterday, though the wind was still chilly, and it was very rewarding to pop up big old chunks of 3 inch thick ice from the concrete. With the sun and warmer temps, the concrete had enough heat to release the ice a bit. Kennedy and i scraped for about an hour.
On another note, we're making plans to get working on finishing our basement this spring/summer. I'm sooooooo excited about that. 3 girls in one bedroom is not ideal. Especially when one is a little stinker---Renie.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Some catch up...

Did anyone else see the lunar eclipse on Wednesday night? Kennedy had seen online that there was supposed to be one but then I kind of forgot about it. Lincoln went to the store at about 9pm and when he came home he called for me to come see. We woke Kennedy up and threw her coat and boots and hat on her and brought her out with us. I have a junky camera that couldn't even begin to capture the moon in the sky. We did get a shot of Kennedy looking at the eclipse though.

Thursday we took a much-needed break to head to Wisconsin Dells. The kids didn't have school friday because of a teacher workday, so we left when Lincoln got home from work. Lincoln and I were both stressed out and feeling sick to our stomachs over some cut backs that had happened at Lands End on Thursday. Don't worry, my husband still has his job- and now someone else's- but it's hard to see friends and coworkers go through something like this. Plus things will start to be very crazy after the weekend when he has to pick up and cover a position that was just vacated with noone lined up yet to fill it. But on a lighter note, we had fun in The Dells. We stayed at Chula Vista this time. We got a regular old hotel room, no lodge or condo or even a suite. (A mistake we've decided. We are just too big now to cram into one room.) Devon was amazing this time. He's always hated to get his face wet. Last time we went he was pretty content to just float in the wave pool, although he did start to branch out on some bigger waterslides. This time he was really into it. He went down body slides and tube slides and didn't complain about water on his face. The greatest part of the trip was realizing that we have hit a new milestone as a family. The girls are now big enough to go on the big slides by themselves. They can touch in the lazy river, they'll go down any of the big slides. What a treat to have 2 semi-independent kids now! Lincoln and I can take turns staying with the 2 little ones and going down slides with Devon. And this time, Jesse was still content to be in the stroller most of the time. Devon and Renie wear life jackets willingly which also alleviates some stress. So here are some pictures. It really wasn't pitch black in there I just have a really junky camera, as previously mentioned.

Another tag...

Teri Ross tagged me. This should be interesting.
Here's how it works:

1. Pick up the nearest book (one of at least 123 pages)

2. Open the page to 123

3. Find the 5th sentence.

4. Post the next 3 sentences

5. Tag 5 people.

The closest book is the Dodgeville phonebook. Not sure it has 123 pages....I'll find the next closest for the sake of something remotely interesting.

On The Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wider

But each had a box to sit on, and each had a box to put her treasures in. Charlotte and the paper dolls lived in Laura's box, and Mary's quilt blocks and her scrapbag were in Mary's box. Behind the curtain each had her nail, to take her nightgown off and hang her dress on. (Can I put the 4th sentence? It's the best part.) The single thing wrong with that room was that Jack could not climb up the ladder.

There- I'm not going to tag anyone this time around. (I have a limited number of folks to tag, don't want to overtax, or tag, as the case may be, them.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Devon's Birthday Fun

So yesterday was Devon's birthday. The big day happened to fall on a preschool day so he got to share the fun with his friends in class. We shared cupcakes with the class and then had a pirate ship cake with the family in the evening after his birthday dinner of chicken nuggets and fake mac n cheese. The boy likes his chicken nuggets and can he pack 'em away! Which reminds me of a cute Devon story. When he was little, often when I changed his diaper I would find little poop nuggets, and I would say something like, "All that stink and it's just little poop nuggets!" This happened often enough that it got to a point where he would ask when I changed him, "Is it chicken nuggets?" Anyway, here are some photos from the day. Sorry they're so dark, my battery was low.

And maybe a video, last time it didn't work so we'll see.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Everything I need to know..

Here are some things I am re-learning since moving back to the north and living through a true-blue (literally I think I'm turning blue) winter.

1. Knee high socks provide a trememdous amount of warmth.
2. Layering is not just fashionable, it is key to staying warm.
3. Ice covered with a thin blanket of snow is very slippery.
4. Ice covered with a foot of snow is impossible to remove.
5. If you want your mail, you have to clear around your mailbox so the mailman can deliver it.
6. The little pebbles in the sand used on the roads does a number on your floors.
7. A family of seven has A LOT of outdoor winter clothing.
8. If you leave your sled outside after playing, you probably won't be able to find it in the morning.
9. Shoveling snow is a great workout.
10. Dog poop settles down in the snow where you can't find it.
11. You'll find lots of dog poop in the yard when the snow melts.
12. Slippers are delicious on cold tootsies.
13. Shopping carts full of groceries do not push easily through a snowy, slushy, icy parking lot.
14. 45 degree weather is not too cold for kids to go out and play. (Neither is 35, 25, or 15, but they shorten the time outside at 5 and it's probably too cold to send them out at 0).
15. It takes twice as long to get out the door when donning hats, mittens, boots, scarves, and winter coats.
16. Warming up the car 10 minutes before you leave is essential to safe driving.
17. If you don't warm up your car for 10 minutes before you leave your brakes probably won't really engage at the first stop sign.
18. Frigid weather will freeze your boogers.
19. When you come in out of the cold, your boogers will instantly thaw and snot will start flowing.
20. There is great beauty to be found in snow falling, fallen, played in, piled up, and blowing around.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Aaah February

Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows that I talk about snow a lot. I thought maybe I was a victim of the northern-girl-gone-soft-by-living-in-the-south process and that was why winter seemed so long and snowy. Turns out we've had record snowfall this year in Wisconsin. Something like 79 inches so far, breaking the previous record of 76. And that was by the first week in February. It ain't over yet! Even the natives are getting restless. Last night a friend of ours said he heard we had had 40 days of measurable snow. That's a lot. So, of course, I have more snow pictures. They are taken from the car so they're not the greatest, but you'll get this idea. It's funny. Because of the wind, you'll be driving along past a huge snowbank and then suddenly it ends and you're at a section where the wind has swept the ground almost bare. Some folks in our branch got stuck in a snowdrift in the road on the way to church last sunday (it was bitterly cold- way below zero- and there were blowing snow advisories in effect). It took them almost 2 hours to dig out with cookie sheets they had in the car. He had red feet with white spots by the time they got home. He's ok, though. We almost didn't go to church because I wasn't too keen on travelling 40 minutes in frigid weather with kids in the car. Next time I won't.

Last night we had our almost annual Valentine's Party and Poetry Contest. The guest list ended up really small, but it was lots of fun and more intimate with the smaller group. With my husband's permission I'm posting my husband's awesome eighties-songs-themed poem he wrote for me.

Pop Goes My Heart!

Every breath you took I was stalk..I mean watching you
I wanted to know what love was and you to show me too.
What was your price for flight for finding Mr. Right?
Were you someone's only light going to shine that night?
I could not possibly continue to fight those feelings anymore
I had forgotten what I started fighting for.
You were blinding me with science, it was poetry in motion,
My spheres all in commotion from your blinding love potion.
Molly, you gave me your number so I could make you mine
Molly, I remember that number-8-6-7-5-3-0-9.
I would just call to say I love you just to say how much I care,
But only when you were gone, when you were there I did not dare.
Your father warned me...he said watch out boy she will chew you up
She is a maneater returned from her mission and she is looking to sup.
Truth be told it was you who took the gamble and was living on a prayer
But if you take my hand, lower your expectations, and be patient we'll make it I swear.
Just say you love me for the rest of your life,
And I will be your cowboy and you can be my...cow-wife.

He's so perfect for me. I love it! So Happy Valentine's Day-again. We're off to Madison today- I'm so excited to get out of Dodgeville and shop somewhere other than Walmart! Hooray!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's the fallout after the kids had their parties today. Lots of sugar was consumed and a good time was had by all!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Green Fix

Yesterday's post got me looking at an album of photos from this past summer- a day at the lake, green grass, etc. So I thought maybe I'd post some more pictures for anyone feeling the need to see some green and sunshine like me. So here are some pictures of a day at Governor Dodge State Park. We live just a couple miles down the road from this park with 2 lakes, tons of hiking trails, a beautiful spring-fed waterfall, and camping and cook-out sites. On this particular day it was one of those hot days I mentioned in my previous post where it was warmer than normal. You hike back from the road maybe 1/2 a mile to get to the waterfall. The approach is basically on the same level as the road until you're right above the falls. Then the trail curves around and drops down abruptly and steeply to the bottom of the falls. You are then down in a bowl with the side opposite the falls open where the water travels down beyond. Being spring-fed, the water cools the bowl so it is easily 15 degrees cooler down in there. It is a delicious reprieve on a hot day. If you're really tough you can stand under the falls and let the water chill you through and through. But it is icy cold and crisp so only the really tough or really hot dare to do it!

Thanks for humoring me!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Devon will be 4 next week!

The many faces of Devon...

Winter Wonderland

It just keeps snowing and snowing and snowing. Today we are having a beautiful snowfall with huge flakes falling. It doesn't really fall gently here, though. There is always a bit of a wind- which is absolutely gorgeous in the summer-that often blows the snow horizontally past my kitchen window. As sick as I am getting of winter, I still love to see a lovely snowfall. In fact that's what makes the #@$%@ cold tolerable for me! That's not to say that I'll be sad when it melts or that I'm not beginning to yearn for warm sunshine on my face and the kids doing cartwheels in the thick green grass on the front lawn. I find it necessary to remind myself from time to time of the HORSE competitions in the driveway on summer evenings and afternoons under the giant maple trees in the park playing in the dappled sunlight. As Brother Holverson at church put it, One beautiful summer day in southwest Wisconsin makes the winter worth it. In NC when it was baking hot the only place to get cool was in the pool or the AC. But in Wisconsin you can step into the shade and it's cool. The breeze gently blows and the humidity is pretty much non-existent. We moved here July 9th and I think I used the AC maybe 5 times-and everyone told us it was exceptionally hot. Anyway, here are a couple pictures of our beautiful snowfall and summer in Wisconsin.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bathing Beauty...

Devon always gets annoyed when I put a towel around his shoulders and it doesn't stay up. So the other day I wrapped him lady style so I could tuck it and still cover most of his body so he'd be warm (wind chill of 35 BELOW ZERO, people!). He thought it was hilarious. I took a ton of pictures, because he was feeling silly and kept posing, but I thought these two caught the feeling pretty well.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I've been tagged..

It was bound to happen eventually! Here it goes...

All about my Hubby......

What is his name? Lincoln Hale Tatro

How long have you been married? 9 1/2 years

How long did you date? A little over 2 years, 1 1/2 of those were love letter dating while I was on my mission.

How old is he? 34

Who eats more sweets? Lincoln

Who said I love you first? Lincoln

Who is taller? Lincoln-6' 2" to my 5' 5 1/2"

Who can sing better? Me, but Lincoln has a great appreciation for music.

Who is smarter? Hmmm... in what? We kind of balance each other.

Who does the laundry? Me, all day every day!

Who pays the bills? Lincoln

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Lincoln (I was just thinking how funny it would have been if I had accidentally skipped over this question and Terri's answer- David- was still here.)

Who mows the lawn? Lincoln- I've not mowed the lawn ONCE since we got married. Maybe now that we live somewhere with fewer snakes I'll start helping with that!

Who cooks dinner? Me

Who drives? Lincoln. We determined long ago that he would rather drive than deal with the demands of the kids.

Who is more stubborn? Definately Lincoln. I try to be but I cave.

Who kissed who first? Lincoln kissed me. I was already set apart as a missionary (he was not a member of the church so he didn't know he shouldn't). When I realized he was coming in I quickly turned my face so he kissed my cheek. He was reading it as total cold shoulder!

Who asked who out first? Well, I guess technically he asked me out- but only after I gave him my number and made it clear that if he DID ask me I would say yes. (At first he would only call my house when he knew I wasn't there so he could leave a message and put the ball back in my court!)

Who proposed? Lincoln

Who has more siblings? Me, 2 sisters 3 brothers. He has 2 sisters.

Who wears the pants? I'd like to say me, but in reality it's definately him.

Ok. So now I get to tag some people. Then I guess I go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they've been tagged. I'll tag Jenn-Lee, Teri Ross, and Chari (who totally won't do it! That's right, it's a challenge!)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

When I'm rich...

...I will buy these boots to feed my addiction!